Tag Archives: publicity

Notes to Editors: press release boilerplate text for Museums at Night 2014

I’ve just had an enquiry from a venue sending out press releases to promote their event, who wanted to know whether there was any specific information to include about the Museums at Night festival.

Our standard boilerplate text explains what the Museums at Night festival is, and introduces Culture24 (the non-profit online cultural publisher that coordinates the festival) and Arts Council England, the core funder of the festival.

Here’s the Notes to Editors text: you can also download this as a 1 page Word document.

Notes to Editors:

1. Museums at Night is the annual after-hours festival of arts, culture and heritage when hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites open their doors for special evening events. It takes place over the weekend of Thursday 15 to Saturday 17, 2014. www.museumsatnight.org.uk

2. Culture24 is a non-profit cultural publishing organisation supporting arts and heritage venues to reach audiences across digital platforms. We collect and share cultural data, publish websites, run the national Museums at Night campaign and lead action research projects. www.WeAreCulture24.org.uk

3. Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk

Museums at Night logo

You can also download many variations on this Museums at Night logo - along with poster and flyer templates you can customise to promote your events – over on our Resources for Venues page.

If you have any questions, please call Rosie on 01273 623336 – we’re here to help!

Guest post: Ella Lewis-Collins on a night of drama at the Jerwood Gallery

Our latest guest post comes from Ella Lewis-Collins, and looks at how a change of plans meant the Jerwood Gallery had to rethink their Museums at Night event idea … and what they’ll be offering visitors instead.

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Last year, the Jerwood Gallery won the Chapman Brothers in the Connect10 competition for an event during the Museums at Night festival. Our evening with the Chapmans consisted of a party with a giant game of consequences.

Adults drawing on a large piece of paper on the ground

Jake Chapman leading Exquisite Corpse drawing session at the Jerwood Gallery (c) Pete Jones

Participants made hideous, amusing and often obscene ‘exquisite corpses’ on 6 foot pieces of paper, passing them around to strangers to complete, with Jake Chapman jumping in and helping people add weird and wonderful details to their creations.

A group of people in an art gallery looking at a large drawing

Visitors looking at an Exquisite Corpse artwork with Jake Chapman (c) Pete Jones

This was so much fun that we decided we had to go for another artist in the competition this year. We picked the photographer Spencer Tunick with the hope of bringing him to Hastings for a mass participation nude shoot on Hastings fishing beach.

Our campaign to win Spencer was one that got lots of support – the wonderful people of Hastings and beyond got behind the ‘Vote Jerwood, Vote Hastings’ campaign and we even had a flash mob strip completely naked on Hastings beach to help promote the vote, which made international news!

Nude flashmob on Hastings Beach, image courtesy Ciaran McCrickard / Connors

Nude flashmob on Hastings Beach, image courtesy Ciaran McCrickard / Connors

Despite almost doubling the number of votes that we got last year, it sadly wasn’t to be and George House Gallery, Folkestone won Spencer. After we found out that we hadn’t won Spencer, we didn’t want the opportunity of doing something for Museums at Night to pass us by. The tricky thing was working out to do instead.

Devising a new event idea

A few members of the team got together and we decided what we wanted was to create a gallery experience which allowed visitors to explore the gallery in a completely new way. We wanted it to have a distinctive evening atmosphere and we wanted people to remember ‘that time we went to the Jerwood Gallery’. Essentially something atmospheric, unique and creative. So then we thought of the Baron…

A man in a hat with his shadow silhouetted

Baron Gilvan (c) Kipperklock Photography

The Baron is a wonderful, slightly dark and magical character who we had the pleasure of working with when we celebrated the gallery’s first birthday in March last year. He transformed the gallery’s studio into ‘The Baron’s Art School’ for the weekend and took families on a magical journey – following the character of ‘Christina the Astonishing’ in a performance workshop incorporating painting, puppetry and animation. The event sold out and was hugely popular with both children and adults.

We approached the Baron’s creator, Chris Gilvan-Carwright, to see if he would like to work for us on a special commission for Museums at Night this year. We met with Chris and Isobel Smith of Grist to the Mill, a puppeteer who often collaborates with the Baron on his performance projects, at the gallery.

Tips on working with performance artists

It’s hugely important when planning these sort of performative events that those who are delivering the performance can get a sense of the space. This is not only for practical reasons but because so often the space and the art on the walls provides new inspiration.

Chris came up with the idea of running a Baron’s Art School in which participants journey into the paintings, transporting the audience into another world. This provides the audience with a completely new way of looking at and experiencing art in the gallery; the activities will also make them active participants rather than passive observers to the works on the walls.

A character with a funnel on his head performing with small objects

The Baron’s Art School (c) Kipperklock Photography

I really believe if you find the right performer, then the best thing to do is trust them with the development of the performance or the event. Whilst practicalities need to be considered by the venue, it’s usually best to allow the artists to work and get their creative juices flowing – the event will be all the better as a result.

Marketing the mysterious 

In terms of marketing the event, I wanted to convey a sense of excitement and anticipation. I did this through providing snippets of enticing information without giving too much away. There’s more excitement if there’s a bit of mystery!

I always try to listen to the words that the artist or performer uses to describe their work in order to help me develop the marketing copy. Sometimes even writing down verbatim (or recording – with their permission) what they say in planning meetings can be incredibly useful, as their passion and enthusiasm for what they do really comes across and helps to enthuse the audience too.

Images are also hugely important. People find it a lot easier to imagine themselves at an event if they have a visual sense of what it will be like. This can be tricky if a similar event hasn’t taken place before, however some sort of image conveying the atmosphere of the event is essential. Fortunately Chris had a number of great shots from previous events with the Baron, which we were able to use.

I think this year’s Museums at Night with the Baron will be a magical one. Our event – The Baron’s Art School presents Bringing Painting to Life – will take place on Friday 16 May. Tickets cost £15, and you can find out more about the event here: http://www.jerwoodgallery.org/whatson/events/79/the-barons-art-school

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A girl wearing a hatElla Lewis-Collins is the Communications and Marketing Manager at Jerwood Gallery. She joined the gallery in January 2012, prior to the gallery opening in March 2012. Before this Ella worked at FEI, an arts consultancy company. She has an MA in the Reception of the Classical World from UCL. You can follow Ella on Twitter @ellalc, and the Jerwood Gallery @jerwoodgallery.

 

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Thanks, Ella!

If you’d like to write a guest post or share a case study about any aspect of audience development, event planning or marketing in the arts and heritage sector, please email rosie@culture24.org.uk.

Press Release: Museums at Night 2014 kicks off major new BBC Arts strand

Museums at Night logo

Culture24 are proud to announce that Museums at Night, the UK’S annual night-time festival of arts, heritage and culture, is to be the opening subject of the new topical arts strand, BBC ARTS at…

Coverage of the Museums at Night festival, which takes place over the weekend of Thursday May 15 – Saturday May 17, 2014, will be broadcast from museums and galleries across England, Wales, and Scotland with BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz presenting an hour-long programme on BBC Two.

BBC Arts Online will host exclusive coverage including a live stream of key events featuring leading contemporary artists at venues across the country, along with highlights from the BBC archive. There will be coverage of the event on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show (BBC Radio 2) and The Verb (BBC Radio 3) as well as regional and local news across the BBC.

Launching in May, BBC ARTS at will give audiences a front row seat at cultural events across the year – exhibitions, performances, festivals – showcasing the energy and excitement of Britain’s vast cultural landscape when and where it happens. This ambitious new strand will, for the first time, bring TV, radio and online together under a single banner, BBC ARTS at…

Two boys writing on a whiteboard

Visitors at an installation by artist Alex Hartley, who will appear at Market Hall Museum in Warwick for Museums at Night 2014

Jane Finnis, CEO, Culture24 says, “On behalf of the hundreds of museums, galleries and heritage venues that take part in Museums at Night, Culture24 are absolutely delighted that the BBC are using this unique festival to launch its new topical arts strand. The coordinated cross-platform coverage will significantly raise the profile of the festival, giving millions of people the chance to get involved and highlighting the amazing work going on inside our arts and heritage institutions – above all emphasizing the importance of Museums at Night as the UK’s annual festival of culture.”

A group of people in a glowing room looking through telescopes

Visitors discovering the telescopes at Armagh Planetarium after hours (c) Armagh Planetarium

The Museums at Night festival offers the chance to experience culture and heritage in a totally unexpected way. Over three nights in May, hundreds of museums, galleries and historic spaces all over the UK will open up late and putting on a dazzling array of special night-time events: from unique literary talks in castles to star gazing in historic houses; sleepovers in palaces to city-wide culture crawls; bands playing in amongst museum exhibits to science fiction life drawing in galleries.

Now in its sixth year, the Museums at Night festival ties in with the European initiative La Nuit des Musees. It is run by non-profit cultural publisher Culture24 and designed to attract new audiences into museums and galleries, via a whole range of exciting experiences and events.

Museums at Night is funded by Arts Council England.

For further information and images please contact: Pandora George, Bullet PR, pandora@bulletpr.co.uk or tel: 01273 775520 or 07729 469220

Do something different screencast: event marketing on a shoestring

I recorded this screencast for the Arts Marketing Association’s Culturehive website, which aims to collate and share best practice in cultural marketing.

The 40 minute video shares some of my top tips for planning and marketing events, and includes examples from lots of Museums at Night events.

It covers idea generation; ways of involving staff and volunteers; how to add value while keeping costs low; pricing; hyper-local marketing on a shoestring; working in partnership; what makes a successful event; and how to convert visitors into fans.

Thanks to the lovely team at the AMA, I’m able to share it with you all – but only until Museums at Night! Take a look now, as the videos will disappear at the end of May!

Order your Museums at Night 2014 brochures by Monday 31 March

Thanks to everyone who’s registered Museums at Night events in the database: BBC History Magazine are now compiling our major piece of print publicity, the official Guide to Museums at Night.

This A5-sized colourful 16-page brochure goes out to all BBC History magazine readers, and selected Tourist Information Centres across the UK. It contains short interviews and features about some of the exciting festival events, along with list of participating venues arranged by region.

The goal of the brochure is to send people who pick it up to the Museums at Night public-facing website to find events they’d like to visit in their area.

artwork showing a girl shining a torch around museum objects

The front over of BBC History Magazine’s Guide to Museums at Night 2014, designed by Stuart Kolakovic

All venues running a Museums at Night event will receive a small box of 100 brochures – unless you tell us otherwise! These come to you totally free, and you have 10 days to let us know how many you’d like.

Please fill in this simple form to let us know how many boxes you’d like: you can order small boxes containing 100 brochures, or large boxes containing 500 brochures – or if you don’t want any brochures at all, please use the form to tell us this. We can’t send out fewer than 100 brochures at a time.

You can help raise awareness about the Museums at Night festival by placing the brochures in foyers and cafes, local libraries, bookshops, theatres, cafes, bars, and supermarkets: you know better than we do the places that people are likely to pick up brochures in your town. 

If you’re not running a Museums at Night event this year but would still like to take a box of brochures and distribute them in your area to help raise awareness of the festival, please do order a box! To our delight, this happens every year, and it’s really encouraging for Nick and I to see the sector come together to encourage more visits to arts and heritage venues.

Please order your brochures here by 11am on Monday 31 March 2014.

Attract new visitors and generate income with Culture24′s Activity Superstore partnership

I’m cross-posting this information here because if you’re reading the Museums at Night blog, you’re probably interested in attracting new audiences and generating income for your museum, gallery or heritage site – and Culture24′s new partnership may well be relevant to you!

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Culture24 is collaborating with the UK’s leading gift experience company, Activity Superstore, to create an innovative and unique range of science, arts and history-themed experience gifts for Christmas 2014.

This is a fantastic opportunity for museums, galleries, historic houses, science centres and any other venues within the Culture24 network to access new markets and promote their offer to a wider audience.

The new range of experience gift packages will be sold in major high street retailers as well as online. Each gift will be packaged in a box and include a voucher to be used in the next year (i.e. 2015) and be priced between £20-£100 dependent upon the experience.

Two colourful printed cardboard boxes

Activity Superstore gift experience boxes

The new range will be aimed at families, adults and young adults and feature cultural experiences such as curator tours, behind the scenes access, talks, workshops and other activities that offer added value. They will cover subject areas such as science, history, archaeology, art and literature and natural history.

The proposed new gift experience packages:

Museums at Night
After-hours in the nation’s museums, galleries and historic houses can be the most magical of all – when the lights are dimmed, the crowds are gone and the venue does something different. Choose from an eclectic mix of evening openings featuring music, art, science, drama, poetry and more, with a glass of fizz or a cocktail to add sparkle to your evening. Over-18s only.

Family Night in the Museum
Ever wondered what really happens when they lock museum and gallery doors at night? Pack those torches, sleeping bags and pyjamas and choose one of our amazing venues for a night you won’t forget in a hurry. Whether the sleepover companions are dinosaurs or suits of armour, Egyptian mummies or priceless works of art, there will be special family activities to keep everyone busy until lights out.

Live Science
Watch a live science demo, meet a scientist, get stuck in to hands-on science activities or take a peek behind-the-scenes in a range of amazing science-focussed venues, from historic science heritage sites and museums to cutting edge technology centres. This gift will delight science-lovers of all ages.

The Night Sky
Turn your gaze to the heavens and discover the secrets of the stars with this astronomy-themed family gift. Settle down to an awe-inspiring planetarium show or wrap up warm and head for the great outdoors to scan the night skies with an astronomy expert.

Lost Traditions
Traditional arts and crafts are thriving, if only you know where to look. This gift gives two people the chance to try out one of a wonderful mixture of workshops or taster sessions from weaving, quilting, or crochet to milling, calligraphy, pottery and more, all taking place in museums, galleries and historic houses.

Inside Design
Packed with expert tours of museum collections featuring design and fashion classics, or of buildings that are architectural gems, this gift is perfect for anyone with an eye for style. Curators, artists and designers lead special tours of some of the country’s most stylish collections, interiors and buildings, sharing their expert knowledge and love of their subjects.

Family Fun: Hands on Discovery
Know any youngsters who love discovering and finding out new things? Whether they’re into dinosaurs, dragons or the natural world; knights, princesses or castles; painting or making; stories or dressing-up, these hands-on family activities in museums, galleries, heritage sites and science centres will delight and inspire the under-12s.

Tales of the Horrible
Blood and guts abound in the true-life tales of derring-do, murder and mayhem through history that our nation’s museums, galleries and historic houses tell. Curator’s tours and storytelling sessions will bring our often grisly, gruesome history to life. Not for the faint-hearted or under-5s.

Inside Art
Discover art alongside the expert eye of an artist or curator. From old masters to the latest contemporary installations these special art-themed tours will bring collections to life. The perfect gift for art-lovers or for anyone keen to find out more about the amazing artworks in one of a range of galleries and museums.

Wheels, wings and water (working title!)
If you love planes, trains and automobiles, engines and industrial heritage, then this is the gift for you. Join a curator or expert for a behind-the-scenes or hands-on tour of some of the UK’s most fascinating museums and heritage sites and to take a close-up look at some marvels of engineering.

Want to find out more or talk to someone?

If you have any questions about the partnership, what’s involved, or want to discuss  taking part, please email Culture24 Listings Co-ordinator Richard Austin: richardaustin@culture24.org.uk or phone him on 01273 623357.

You can also download the Activity Superstore application form to register your interest now in this exciting new partnership opportunity.

Museums at Night media partnership with the Times

Museums at Night, the UK’s annual night-time festival of arts, heritage and culture, is pleased to announce its new media partnership with The Times.

The Times masthead

The Museums at Night festival offers the chance to experience culture and heritage in a totally unexpected way. Over three nights in May (May 15 – May 17) hundreds of museums, galleries and historic spaces all over the UK will open up late and put on a dazzling array of special night-time events: from unique literary talks in castles to star gazing in historic houses; sleepovers in palaces to city-wide culture crawls; bands playing in amongst museum exhibits to science fiction life drawing in galleries.

A bhangra band in cosutme with musical instruments

Bhangra band RSVP will be performing at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter for Museums at Night 2014

The new partnership with The Times includes editorial support for a range of Museums at Nights events and participating artists. In addition, there will be a whole host of Museums at Night ticket offers and competitions offered to Times+ subscribers.

Nick Stockman, Project Director for Museums at Night says, “I’m delighted to announce our partnership with The Times. We are really looking forward to sharing the excitement of the festival and all it has to offer with their readers.”

Alex O’Connell, Arts Editor at The Times says, “I am delighted that we will be partnering up with Museums at Night and look forward to being able to share fantastic access to some of our great museums with readers and Times Plus members.”

Now in its sixth year, the Museums at Night festival ties in with the European initiative La Nuit des Musées. It is run by non-profit cultural publisher Culture24 and designed to attract new audiences into museums and galleries, via a whole range of exciting experiences and events.

Full event listings for the festival can be found at www.museumsatnight.org.uk.

Call for Museums at Night images

Thanks to everyone who’s registered Museums at Night events: we have almost 300 in the database already!

Our latest publicity opportunity is a great one if you have high res photos showing people exploring your venue and collections. This opportunity is open to any organisation taking part in the Museums at Night festival, large or small.

a night time photo of an impressive historic building with blurred car lights zooming past

Outdoor photo of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, who are running twilight tours for Museums at Night

Our festival PR agency, Bullet PR, are putting a call out for images to represent the Museums at Night festival 2014.

If you have a great image to accompany your Museums at Night event, please forward a high res version (1.5 mg or more) either by email or dropbox link to pandora@bulletpr.co.uk.

If you’re setting up a photo opportunity and want to take pictures of children, you must get their parents’ permission.

When you’re sending images through to us, don’t forget to tell us what the image shows (e.g. any specific collection objects or buildings), the photographer’s credit and any copyright information.

costumed fire jugglers in a historic street

Fire jugglers welcome visitors to the Black Country Living Museum after hours (c) BCLM / Patrick Mulvaney

The best images will be selected for the Museums at Night press image library: when media representatives get in touch with specific requests, e.g. asking for landscape or portrait photos of families or costumed characters having a good time at festival events, this is where we direct them.

A woman in period costume lighting a candelabra

Georgian costumed character lighting candles after dark at Fairfax House in York

Your pictures could appear in newspapers, magazines, on websites and across all kinds of social media – so please, do send us your best!

Get into BBC History Magazine’s Guide to Museums at Night: register your event by Friday 7 March

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who got in touch because you were away for half term: we’ve extended the deadline to register your events for our brochure until Friday 7 March.

The latest publicity opportunity: your event will appear in BBC History Magazine’s official printed Guide to Museums at Night if you register it by Friday 7 March.

This brochure is our main piece of printed publicity, and is distributed to all readers of BBC History Magazine, various Tourist Information Centres, all UK museums and galleries participating in the festival, and any other arts and heritage venues who volunteer to help with the distribution.

Take a sneak peek at our beautiful front cover for this year’s brochure, designed by artist Stuart Kolakovic:

A colourful design showing museum objects coming to life around a girl with a torch

Museums at Night 2014 brochure cover design by Stuart Kolakovic

Don’t miss out! If you’re already planning an after-hours event in your arts or heritage venue on Thursday 15, Friday 16, or Saturday 17 May 2014 you can simply register double-brand your event as part of the Museums at Night festival to take advantage of all the associated publicity.

Here’s how to register your Museums at Night 2014 event.

Newsflash: the BBC will broadcast Museums at Night 2014

Culture24 is close to reaching an agreement with the BBC to broadcast coverage of the 2014 Museums at Night festival on national & local television, radio and online.

At this stage we are working with the BBC to plan the scope of the coverage, but it is likely that some festival events will be covered by the BBC for broadcast on BBC2 with others to be presented on a special new arts website. 

Vital info

We want to hear about every event that is being planned for Museums at Night but we need to know about it now! We are particularly looking for events that fulfil the following criteria:

  • Has a performance, artistic or creative element
  • Is  visually interesting and exciting for a TV audience
  • Will enable privileged access to parts of your venue or collection that are not normally open to the public
  • Demonstrates how you reach out to your local community and invite contributions and participation in new and exciting ways
  • Offers an example of how museums and galleries are responding to current issues the sector faces such as changing revenue models, reduced funding, the challenges of the connected world, and the drive to attract new audiences

Plus, do you have a fabulous and fascinating curator who would be engaging discussing their specialist subject on camera? We need to know!

a mother and daughter with a papercraft project

Family craft activities are always popular (c) Oxfordshire Museum

Please either register your Museums at Night event listing in our database ASAP (here’s how) or email Nick or Rosie with the following info:

  • Name of venue and location (town, city, village)
  • Event title
  • Description – no more than 100 words
  • When – Thursday 15th, Friday 16th or Saturday 17th May
  • Admission – free ticketed, free drop-in or pay-ticketed (if so how much)
  • Your target audience; adults, families etc
  • Tell us why it fits one or more of the 5 vital criteria above in no more than 100 words
  • Main contact details

Send your event details to Rosie Clarke, rosie@culture24.org.uk or Nick Stockman, nick@culture24.org.uk or ring 01273 623279/623336.

The sooner you get us this info the more likely it will be that the BBC can cover your event in some way.

Every year for six years, feedback from participating venues about Museums at Night has highlighted one thing – the need to raise the festival’s profile through national broadcast media. This is your opportunity to make this happen!